With the season barely a few days old, Alex Harking has a few things to get off his chest about crowd etiquette at rugby matches, and I think we can all relate to some of these.
We Rugby fans are largely a well-behaved, polite and generous lot, and a visit to a game is almost exclusively a pleasant experience. There are still, however, things about the modern rugby supporter and the rugby experience that annoy me. With the new season just underway I felt it was time to air these in order for us all to have a cracking year.
So I’m going to get them off my chest and encourage you to do the same. It should be quite therapeutic…
A beer at the rugby must be done. Despite the usual extortionate prices, you have to have some lubrication to get the vocal chords going. But please please please don’t get up three times during the first half to go and get the rounds in, disturbing the whole row in the process who want to watch the rugby.
Why not just buy a couple before kick off, sit back, and relax safe in the knowledge that supplies are at hand? Oh and if you do have to disturb my viewing pleasure and barge past me, say thank you at least.
Clap both your team and the opposition, that’s only polite – when you win you will feel all the more better for it. And never ever boo whilst someone is kicking – we heard some of this at the Guinness Premiership final last season, and it added a slightly sour note to an otherwise glorious occasion.
I’m fed up with some supporters giving the referee grief about decisions they make. They don’t intentionally make mistakes and whilst I sit idly in the stand I will continue to give them my support. With the change in law interpretations this year, there are bound to be decisions that don’t go your way, but there will probably be as many that do, so just get on with it.
Kids are the future – and I mean that sincerely. Rugby will be carried forward on their shoulders and it’s great to see them exposed to the highest levels of our game. However, they shouldn’t be allowed to ruin anyone’s viewing pleasure by running repeatedly over their feet to the toilet or by draping their flag over their face. Please keep them under control.
5. Final Whistle
Regardless of the result rugby fans should accept victory and defeat gracefully and enjoy a beer with your fellow rugby supporters. Despite the intenslely competitive nature of our sport there is no room for bitterness and squabbles in rugby.
Wow I feel better…is there anything you’d like to share with the group?
By Alex Harking